12 China Travel Tips

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China Travel Tips : Need a break from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Gmail, visit the People Republic of China; All that stuff is blocked, orders from above! Recently did just that! Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin are breathtakingly beautiful; it’s a trip every businessman/woman/ entrepreneur/Student should take. Well am from a family of teachers, am aboard an American Airlines flight with unblocked Wi-Fi, I have read endless emails so why not, some general China travel tips or notes, will write on China biz later:

  1. It truly is The People’s Republic, literary!:) Great Peoples, but Peter, Mary and Joseph, I’ve never seen so many people at one time in my life!, 1.4 billion, officially!  Am from a big family, so that was really cool seeing so many people! Language is a barrier but when they understand you, they are very friendly and helpful. They love the United States, they love Africa. As a people they have the same dreams, aspirations, dreams of the future like you or I. I learnt not to be too judgmental about China.
  2. Expect to be stared at, Seriously! People will want to take pictures with you, even in Shanghai and Beijing. The kids may even say something; just smile back. Under no circumstance, try to be rude or fight, it’d KUNG-FU kingdom bro, you will be massacred.
  3. Language barrier is real: contact and travel with a local Chinese friend if you can. If you are a back packer like me, expect the best, and the worst, missed flights, getting lost, late meetings; but try and keep your smile, they understand.
  4. Travel light – might need to move. You might not like the hotel, the picture on the online travel agent could have stretched the truth. Use the Metro, or subway. This forces you to learn a little mandarin and interact with people.  It’s not as robust as Seoul but it works; it is also very affordable, especially the town metro rail systems.
  5. Cash: you Visa card may not be accepted everywhere, not in some of the major Railway station – Shanghai. I might consider getting a Bank of China card before the trip.
  6. ‘Don’t be ‘Shanghaid in Shanghai’, don’t talk to strangers – didn’t your mother say so! especially those who can talk English, it’s incredible how many approach you. And for heaven’s sake – NO TEA ceremony invitations, not that it happened to me!
  7. Have ‘Take me back to my Hotel ‘name’ card’ written in the local language. Really important especially if you intend To stay late or take a cab.
  8. Metro – it may have it’s bad side but defiantly do explore the train system or metro. This goes for all metro cities, Shanghai, Seoul, Tianjin, and Beijing etc.  The subway is almost TEN times 10x cheaper than a taxi – kid you not. All major airports Have a metro system, unfortunately no one tell you, most want you to use the Taxis – at times they work in cohorts.
  9. Sightseeing bus: if in a hurry, hop into one of those Red double decker, a 48hr ticket costs $20, we’ll spent money. When shopping a couple of places are nice but regardless bargain like there is no tomorrow, like by a fifth of quoted price.
  10. In Shanghai, don’t miss visiting the Bund, Urban Design Museum, and Shanghai towers, French Concession. In Beijing, Tiananmen, the Forbidden city’s, The Temple of heaven, Lama temple, Olympic Stadium, these are a must see. And Off course the incredible Great wall of China.
  11. No Facebook, Twitter, Google, Google map, Gmail very slow. Work with www.baidu.comand other the local Chinese search engine. Alibaba is also helpful.
  12. Whatever you do; Do Not Forget to have FUN! it’s a new world, enjoy it !